Media Shifts Perception


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The Oscars get criticized for their lack of inclusion for people of color.

Those younger generation of girls will feel more empowered and beautiful through representation. They can start to feel proud of what they look like if they observe people that they admire looking like them. While changing any norm — whether it’s what constitutes beauty, who can get married, who can be a doctor  — requires high profile exemplars. One way to create high-profile exemplars is to put them on screens and recognize their work. 23.6 million people watched the Oscars this year and 29.5 million people watched last year. While the Oscars may appear to be one night of TV, it is the culmination of all the hard work produced for a film put out that year. Those millions of people are observing who is in the spotlight and some even letting it affect their own ideals of beauty. 

#OscarsSoWhite is a social justice campaign that began five years ago to highlight the disparities between the population of people and the amount of minorities congratulated during the Oscars. Just on Feb. 9, there were over 2,100 tweets with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, as Cynthia Erivo was the only actor of color nominated.

The University of California, Los Angeles released a diversity report through the College of Social Sciences. They found that although minorities were about 40 percent of the U.S. population in 2017, they accounted for only 19.8 percent of film leads, 12.6 percent of film directors and 7.8 percent of film writers. According to, in the 2015-16 TV season, 74.6 percent of roles for cable-scripted shows went to white actors, while 13.3 percent went to black actors.

Casting minorities in TV and film roles affects how black children view what is beautiful and normal. With minorities gaining roles, perceptions shift.

For example, as of November 2019, “Black Panther” generated more than 1.346 billion dollars. The fourth season of “Black-ish” averaged 4.270 million viewers per episode.

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